Civilization Quotes

Civilization begins with soap. -Maud van Buren


Civilization is what makes you sick. -Paul Gauguin


Civilization degrades the many to exalt the few.-Alcott, Amos Bronson


Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity. -Thor Heyerdahl,


Civilization: a thin veneer over barbarianism. -John M. Shanahan,


Culture is roughly anything we do and the monkeys don't. -Lord Raglan


A living civilization creates; a dying, builds museums. -Martin H. Fischer


Society attacks early, when the individual is helpless. -B.F.Skinner


We should distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes. -Henry David Thoreau,


We are born princes and the civilizing process makes us frogs. -Syrus


We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public. -Bryan White


Modern man is just ancient man... with way better electronics. -Unknown


Civilization... wrecks the planet from seafloor to stratosphere. -Richard Bach


Where there are humans
you'll find flies,
and Buddhas.-Issa


Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. -Confucius


Good manners: The noise you don't make when you're eating soup. -Bennett Cerf


Progress might have been all right once, but it's gone on too long. -Ogden Nash


People don't like the true and simple; they like fairy tales and humbug. -Edmond and Jules de Goncourt,


The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.-Emerson, Ralph Waldo


Civilization begins with order, grows with liberty, and dies with chaos.-Durant, Will


Civilization is a method of living, an attitude of equal respect for all men.-Addams, Jane


It is better for civilization to be going down the drain than to be coming up it.-Allen, Henry


What we call progress is the exchange of one nuisance for another nuisance. -Henry Havelock Ellis


Civilization is the distance man has placed between himself and his excreta. -Brian Aldiss


Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe. -H.G. Wells,


The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization. -Ralph Waldo Emerson


Civilization is a movement and not a condition, a voyage and not a harbor. -Arnold Toynbee


We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive. -Albert Einstein


The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization. -Sigmund Freud


Civilization is the art of living in towns of such size the everyone does not know everyone else.-Jaynes, Julian


The more rapidly a civilization progresses, the sooner it dies for another to rise in its place.-Ellis, Havelock


The dying process begins the minute we are born, but it accelerates during dinner parties. -Carol Matthau


Our concern is not how to worship in the catacombs but how to remain human in the skyscrapers. -Abraham Joshua Heschel


The true civilization is where every man gives to every other every right that he claims for himself.-Ingersoll, Robert


If the Aborigine drafted an I.Q. test, all of Western civilization would presumably flunk it. -Stanley Garn


It is impossible to overlook the extent to which civilization is built upon a renunciation of instinct. -Sigmund Freud,


One of the indictments of civilizations is that happiness and intelligence are so rarely found in the same person.-Feather, William


Leash: n, a means by which animals, formerly running wild, are prevented from running tame, also. -Robert Brault,


The gross heathenism of civilization has generally destroyed nature, and poetry, and all that is spiritual. -John Muir


Is man's civilization only a wrappage, through which the savage nature of him can still burst, infernal as ever? -Thomas Carlyle,


When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization. -Daniel Webster,


Civilization is hideously fragile... there's not much between us and the Horrors underneath, just about a coat of varnish. -C.P. Snow


The progress of civilization corresponds with the spread of general nausea. -Edgar Saltus,


We are so clothed in rationalization and dissemblance that we can recognize but dimly the deep primal impulses that motivate us. -James Ramsey Ullman


There are many humorous things in the world, among them the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages. -Mark Twain,


Barbarism is needed every four or five hundred years to bring the world back to life. Otherwise it would die of civilization. -Edmond and Jules de Goncourt,


Every civilization is, among other things, an arrangement for domesticating the passions and setting them to do useful work. -Aldous Huxley


And the wind shall say "Here were decent godless people;
Their only monument the asphalt road
And a thousand lost golf balls."-T.S. Eliot


When you can't do something truly useful, you tend to vent the pent up energy in something useless but available, like snappy dressing. -Lois McMaster Bujold


K is for "Kenghis Khan." He was a very nice person. History has no record of him. There is a moral in that, somewhere. -Harlan Ellison,


It must be admitted that there is a degree of instability which is inconsistent with civilization. But, on the whole, the great ages have been unstable ages. -Alfred North Whitehead


Man - despite his artistic pretensions, his sophistication, and his many accomplishments - owes his existence to a six inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains. -Unknown



Underlying the whole scheme of civilization is the confidence men have in each other, confidence in their integrity, confidence in their honesty, confidence in their future.-Cockran, Bourke


Society is a made-up formula of what we are supposed to be, kept alive by those who believe in it.... I laugh in the ugly face of society, with all its fabricated dimensions. -Unknown


I've made an odd discovery. Every time I talk to a savant I feel quite sure that happiness is no longer a possibility. Yet when I talk with my gardener, I'm convinced of the opposite. -Bertrand Russell


They civilize what's pretty
By puttin' up a city
Where nothin' that's
Pretty can grow....
They civilize left
They civilize right
Till nothing is left
Till nothing is right-Alan Jay Lerner


Civilization is built on a number of ultimate principles...respect for human life, the punishment of crimes against property and persons, the equality of all good citizens before the law...or, in a word justice.-Nordau, Max


Codi: Gives you the willies, doesn't it? The thought of raising kids in a place where the front yard ends in a two-hundred-foot drop? [referring to cliff dwellings] Loyd: No worse than raising up kids where the front yard ends in a freeway.-Barbara Kingsolver,


We pass through this world but once. Few tragedies can be more extensive than the stunting of life, few injustices deeper than the denial of an opportunity to strive or even to hope, by a limit imposed from without, but falsely identified as lying within.- Stephen Jay Gould,


We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.-Richard P. Feynman


Evolution made civilization steward of this planet. A hundred thousand years later, the steward stood before evolution not helper but destroyer, not healer but parasite. So evolution withdrew its gift, passed civilization by, rescued the planet from intelligence and handed it to love.-Richard Bach


Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.-Voltaire


I stood on a tower in the wet,
And New Year and Old Year met,
And winds were roaring and blowing:
And I said, "O years, that meet in tears,
Have ye aught that is worth the knowing?
Science enough and and exploring,
Wanderers coming and going,
Matter enough for deploring,
But aught that is worth the knowing?-Alfred Tennyson


One... gets an impression that civilization is something which was imposed on a resisting majority by a minority which understood how to obtain possession of the means to power and coercion. It is, of course, natural to assume that these difficulties are not inherent in the nature of civilization itself but are determined by the imperfections of the cultural forms which have so far been developed.-Sigmund Freud,

Civilization begins with order, grows with liberty, and dies with chaos. - William James 'Will' Durant


One difference between savagery and civilization is a little courtesy. There's no telling what a lot of courtesy would do. - Cullen Hightower


Is civilization only a higher form of idolatry, that man should bow down to a flesh-brush, to flannels, to baths, diet, exercise, and air? - Mary Baker Eddy


Jesus wept; Voltaire smiled. From that divine tear and from that human smile is derived the grace of present civilization. - Victor Hugo


The market came with the dawn of civilization and it is not an invention of capitalism. If it leads to improving the well-being of the people there is no contradiction with socialism. - Mikhail Gorbachev


If there hadn't been women we'd still be squatting in a cave eating raw meat, because we made civilization in order to impress our girlfriends. - Orson Welles


Chastity is the cement of civilization and progress. Without it there is no stability in society, and without it one cannot attain the Science of Life. - Mary Baker Eddy


Civilization is a process in the service of Eros, whose purpose is to combine single human individuals, and after that families, then races, peoples and nations, into one great unity, the unity of mankind. Why this has to happen, we do not know; the work of Eros is precisely this. - Sigmund Freud


The market is not an invention of capitalism. It has existed for centuries. It is an invention of civilization. - Mikhail Gorbachev

Last modified 07-Sep-2011 7:28 AM